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It has only been a few days after my medical abortion.

I knew that I was going to have an abortion when I found out that my IUD had failed. I am in my last year of graduate school and I know I don't want children. I know that my mother told me when I was young that she would have finished medical school if she had not become pregnant with me. I did not want to blame my failures on a child.

Pregnancy was horrible--a low lying nausea that would not go away, fatigue, and after I found out, a range of negative emotions. For me, pregnancy was not the happy event it's portrayed as in the media. I called in from school sick that week and "exiled" myself in a nearby town, feeling shock and self-pity. (How could this happen to me? And why now?)

I know that I made the right decision. I'm relieved to feel the nausea go away, feeling my usually high levels of mental and physical energy return. However, I know that with my co-workers, classmates, and family, I will continue to "talk around" the experience. I've been given the condescending "you'll never know!" speech by a co-worker when I told her I didn't want children and just don't feel comfortable in the office. I was raised Catholic and don't want to deal with my family's potential judgment--yet I know that any of my relatives could easily find themselves in my situation. No form of contraception is 100% reliable.

What I'm feeling right now could be best described as "alchemical." I now have a secret that has forever transformed me. I love the life that my long-term partner and I have created even more. I more fully cherish the goals that I have set for myself, the field in which I both study and work, and the friends who offered me their support. I am a truly lucky woman and I will fight to hold on to all of these things until I die.

When people tell me in the future, "You'll never know..." I can stare them directly in the eye and tell them, "Oh, I DO know." I will not tolerate having others speak for me again.